Creating A Roof Guardrail Perimeter on a Narrow Pathway | Rooftop Survey Review Ep.1

Rooftop Survey Review

With falling hazards on both sides, you have to act smart. Today we look at the best way to protect a very narrow pathway. Stay tuned.

Alright so here we are in front of the situation we’re going to look at today. So as always we’re going to do this in four step steps. Step number one we’re going to identify what we need to protect. Step number 2: we’re going to identify the falling hazard in this situation. Step number 3: we’re going to define our solution, define our fall protection system and step number 4 we’re going to make some suggestions to go even further.

 So let’s get right to it. Okay so on this building we have a narrow pathway that needs to be protected. Of course we have a fall of three metres or more on each side, so there’s definitely some fall protection systems that need to be installed in this area, so we’re gonna do a quick screenshot and get right to work.

Roof Guardrail Perimeter on a Narrow Pathway: what do we need to protect?

Okay so first step, let’s identify what we need to protect. Well, there’s no HVAC unit here, I see two maybe roof drains here so basically people will need to go there to access this area for maintenance purpose or just as a circulation path towards another roof area. So people will walk and might work in this area, so this is really what we want to protect, there’s no roofed up units around here but it’s a pathway that is used by people so, of course, when they walk there they cannot be within two metres from the roof edge they need to be protected so really the situation here is to protect the circulation in this area. If these are drains that needs to be cleaned, of course, the work will need to be done safely. And what’s interesting is that we have a corner here so people coming from this side of the building will definitely, naturally cut the corner, getting really close to the edge so either a procedure needs to be put in place, regarding where and how to circulate on this building but we’re gonna try to incorporate this in our proposal.

Roof Guardrail Perimeter on a Narrow Pathway: what are the falling hazards?

So step number 2 the falling hazard – well, of course, there are two sides to this pathway that narrow pathway, so each site is a falling hazard. I spoke about the corner here we’re going to try to incorporate this so this is pretty much what we need to protect people from, and we definitely have a 10 foot or three metres or more in this area so these are the falling hazard in this situation.

Roof Guardrail Perimeter on a Narrow Pathway: Designing the Layout

So okay good so let’s define our solution and here it’s a tricky one because the space is very limited on this pathway so since it’s limited the easy answer would be to go with the VSS Compact system, our configuration where the footprint needed is much smaller the weights are straight under the vertical post – could be true but we’re gonna draw it to see if it really works. So let’s say we’re going in Compact so okay so we want to protect this side, this side this would be the actual protection the guardrail itself, now if there’s no door for example or if there’s no ladder here, this needs to be confirmed on site, then we can most definitely do a closed system and these two sides would be connected and then the ending, the two endings of these guardrail would end up somewhere here. If we do it this way so it means that the guardrail will actually continue here and then we would need to have our return somewhere here, the mandatory return is 5 feet – 60 inch – in length so we do need some room here and these returns are mandatory. On the other end here well either we extend it all the way here and the return goes here so that would work that would actually work and we see that the actual the architect designed a pathway with the roofing material so the pathway would lead all the way in this area so this would work. However if there’s a door here that we might not see in this rendering or there’s a ladder, this means that we cannot connect the two sides of the guardrail so when we cannot connect it means that we have two separate sections of guardrail and then in that case we would need to have two endings and this is where we have issues. So basically both guardrails would need their 5-foot return at each end and then depending on the width of the pathway, of course, our ending our return would get into contact. Even more if there’s a door the return might be in the way of the door so if there’s a door or anything else at the end of this pathway here unfortunately the Compact might not be the best solution. One way to do it would be to use wall anchors this is, of course, like a sort of a shortcut but it sort of goes away from the non-penetrating you know ethos that all our systems have. So what if we use the VSS Classic instead? Well, the Classic would actually work, we would need a bit less room because we don’t have returns here, however, we have rubber counterweights on the floor so this would work even if there’s a door because the counterweights are lower than the height of the door so this configuration would allow the door to open and people to come out of the door step on the counterweight and then proceed forward. So in this situation we kind of need a bit more info to be able to judge which configuration is the very best but with our two configurations together I think we definitely have a winner here.

Roof Guardrail Perimeter on a Narrow Pathway: what to do next ?

So step number 4 if we want to go even further well I mean if there’s a ladder here for example going up the other roof level we would need to have a guardrail on each side of the ladder that’s for sure as we always do. Otherwise here I mean I see a parapet it’s probably not at 42-inch height so there would need to have a system or we would need to see how people circulate on this roof area and what about here because there’s definitely a falling hazard all along this area here. Sometimes the best way is to look at where are people coming from quickly this looks like it could be a roof hatch so from there I would create a circulation pathway maybe with warning line leading to where people need to go on this rooftop area. So it’s really about analyzing the operations and then doing some suggestion based on the need of the customer and the building owner.

That’s it I hope you have enjoyed and learned with today’s situation. Thank you so much for your time and your attention. Do you have a similar situation on your building? Contact us here and we’ll get back to you in 24 hours or less. To get notified of our next video follow us on YouTube or subscribe to our newsletter by clicking the link in the description below. Thanks again and stay safe.

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roof guardrails, rooftop guardrail, safety perimeter

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